A WOMAN OF MANY HATS, PROMISE SMITH’S ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT DRIVE’S HER IN MANY DIRECTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO FULFILLING HER CREATIVE OUTLETS. FROM MODELING TO FILMING TO MUSIC VIDEO AND CLOTHING COLLABORATIONS, THIS LADY SEEMS TO HAVE HER HANDS FULL. BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP HER…
RESPONSIBLE FOR BREAKING NEW ARTISTS THOUGH HER QUARTERLY RAVES KNOWN AS WHOREHOUSE IN NYC, PROMISE HAS ALSO MODELED AND WORKED ON SMALL FILM PROJECTS AND MUSIC VIDEO COLLABORATIONS WITH VARIOUS ARTISTS. SHE ALSO SERVES AS A MUSE FOR A LINE OF APPAREL BY BRIAN WOOD, KNOWN AS PANTY RAIDERS, WHICH IS SOLD WORLDWIDE AND SEEN ON THE LIKES OF CELEBRITIES SUCH AS FABOLOUS, MEEK MILL, AND RICK ROSS. OH, AND DID WE FORGET TO MENTION THAT YOU CAN ALSO CATCH HER DANCING IN RITA ORA’S “HOW WE DO” VIDEO SPORTING A DOPE PANTY RAIDERS JACKET???
1) Describe your clothing collaborations with Brian Wood (Panty Raiders) and Ashley Sky Walker?
A little background on the inspiration for this product: Panty Raiders is a gang of lovers. A feminist perspective for sure. Woman in charge. Panties given, thrown even (smile)
My collaboration with Brian Wood (Panty Raiders) and Ashley Sky Walker started rather organically as an idea to make a T more like a canvas, an expression of art and not just a clever, funky T-shirt design. Going a step further with a T-shirt and its production to make a dynamic design that will last for generations. Beautiful.
2) Who is your favorite designer?
My friends inspire me:
Hood By Air
Princess of the Posse
A New York Thing
3) Who is the most intriguing fashion personality to wear your collaboration line?
So many! Telli of Ninjasonik, Fabolus, Meek Mill, Kilo Kish, Joy Bryant…My all time fav is Rita Ora of course. She killed it and made it her own. SWAG!
4) Which current economic challenge do you think has the largest impact on the fashion industry?
The recession. Didn’t stop us though.
5) What was your plan if you weren’t collaborating with Brian Wood for the Panty Raiders line?
I’m doing it now: working with and throwing events for some of the biggest names in the music industry; producing, directing and starring in a feature film that I also wrote; developing my friends’ brands, building a platform for the little guy to start from.
6) What city do you consider the fashion capital of the world?
New York. Wherever people are and creating a world for themselves. That’s the fashion capital.
7) How do you see web 2.0 changing the fashion landscape?
Fashion is one more thing the Web has made readily available to its fanatics. Smaller brands have greater opportunity to be seen. People can easily chase their dreams in the world of fashion.
8) The streets of NYC are infamously causing painful feet. What’s your stance on comfort vs. style in footwear?
This is news to me! Wear nice shoes. Cab it. You only live once.
9) What current trend do you detest the most?
Anything works if you make it your own. Be yourself and have confidence. It’s sexy.
10) Have you yourself ever broken a “fashion law”?
All of them. Rules are made to be broken.
11) What’s up next for Promise Smith?
Fall line with Brian Wood. Events with Serge Becker at Miss Lily’s, many more with your favorite artists ;-) You can also catch my designs in a series called “Across The Board” on the Conversation Channel on YouTube, featuring Joy Bryant. Stay tuned to my site B.A.N.Y.C. Lots more info will be up soon.
12) Philanthropy is a core at Twelv value. Are you involved on any philanthropic organizations or projects?
Absolutely. Though active in philanthropy, I never talk about it publicly. I’ve always felt it was a personal mission each person participates in, kind of like church or prayer. I do many things from volunteering at non-profits, to mentoring young girls who want to work in entrepreneurship. I recently spoke to students at my old high school and college campus about taking charge of their futures. I, and many of my friends’ clothing labels, donate brand new clothing to women’s shelters.
I’m currently working with a friend Jaynelle St Jean to launch a project called “Random Acts of Sweetness” which is basically a grassroots way of giving back to your comminuty but in the most simplistic ways possible. Its based on the belief that more people would give if they were shown a simple but most effective way to do so.
I grew up in a place of real need, so I have always seen the importance of giving back. I’m also interested in working with new non-profits/help centers/youth groups. Feel free to contact me: email@example.com
Note to others: Do what you can. One simple act of kindness makes a world of difference.
Interviewed by Dianne Jacques
Edited by Patrik Lundberg